A Russian Speaks About Western Intelligence Services

...and what he says isn't pretty.

The CIA did not call Reagan insane, but spoke mockingly about his “evil-empirism.”

Still, my day came. In the mid-1970s the CIA began to testify regularly in Congress about Soviet Russia and Maoist China. That is, the CIA presented its papers on the subject and answered the questions of members of Congress. The resulting texts were made accessible to the public, and on the basis of them I wrote an article for “Commentary” magazine (September 1978), whence it was reprinted or retold by about 500 periodicals all over the West.

I made it clear to the readers that the CIA presented as intelligence/espionage data what the CIA collected from open Soviet and Chinese texts, i.e., the propaganda data from the totalitarian press of the two countries.

But without Western intelligence/espionage in dictatorships like those of Soviet Russia and post-1949 China, the West is doomed. Surely a dictatorship will not issue true military information about itself, which will weaken its first strike (“by the assassin’s mace”) that is to ensure their victory. Only the Western intelligence/espionage could obtain such data, but here it turns out that the Western intelligence/espionage does not exist. Instead, there are a number of well-paid officials who sit in comfortable offices and are paid good salaries for passing the propaganda of a closed militarized dictatorship for the data, obtained by intelligence/espionage.

(emphasis mine)

So, there ya go. The CIA's main intelligence-gathering function seems to be watching CNN and maybe reading Pravda.

And these are the people that we're supposed to trust with figuring out where the next attack will come from?